Get a taste of Muji that you can’t get anywhere else.

Muji has grown phenomenally from its humble beginnings as a minimalist brand in 1980, now becoming a household name with stores around the world and a gigantic flagship store and hotel in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza district.

While the flagship store attracts visitors from around the world, there’s a secret hiding upstairs in the hotel area, known only to those in the know. Up on the sixth floor, where the hotel reception is located, you’ll find a restaurant serving lunch, and the best thing about it is it’s even open to those who aren’t staying in the hotel.

The Wa Restaurant, as it’s called (“Wa” means “Japanese”), usually only caters to hotel guests, but it’s open to the public during lunchtime.

There were two meal options on the menu when our reporter P.K. Sanjun visited — the Negima Nabe Ozen (Scallion Hotpot Set) for 1,800 yen (US$11.98) and the Omi Beef Sukiyaki Ozen (2,500 yen) — along with an udon set for children (1,100 yen) and single serves of shirasu (whitebait) for 210 yen and rice and miso together (200 yen).

The sets come with a salad, which you can serve yourself from the salad bar, and while there wasn’t a huge variety, what was available was fresh, simple and good quality, in keeping with Muji’s brand values.

As this is a hidden gem that few people know about, there were plenty of seats available, so P.K. took a seat, grabbed a salad and waited for his Negima Nabe Ozen to arrive.

When it did arrive, P.K. found that the Negima hotpot, which is often served with chicken, contained tuna, which was a very nice surprise. The set also came with a bowl of  rice and miso soup to round out the meal.

After spooning a serving of the steaming hot mixture into the dish provided, P.K. took a sip and was immediately hit by a very Muji-like flavour. It was simple and perfectly well-balanced, with the main ingredients taking centre stage, and the portions of tuna were generous and filled with a good amount of fat and flavour.

The scallions were crunchy with a nice texture, giving the impression of a luxurious hotpot. It was hard to believe that a meal with just two main ingredients could be so flavourful, but it was a testament to Muji’s skill at being able to bring the best out of its products with minimal fuss.

For the swanky location and the quality of ingredients, P.K. reckons this lunch is a very good deal, especially when you factor in the quiet, laid-back feel of the restaurant with its beautiful wooden interiors.

While most people visit the Muji Diner downstairs to get a taste of Muji, a lunch at Wa Restaurant will really show you just how well the brand handles food. So next time you’re looking for a quiet oasis where you can enjoy a Japanese meal in the heart of Ginza, you might want to keep the Muji hotel in mind. And of course, if you choose to actually stay there, the hotel rooms will definitely impress you.

Store information
Muji Hotel Ginza Wa
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 3-3-5, 6F
東京都中央区銀座3-3-5 6F
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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